Friday, July 17, 2015

So What

As much as I hate to use his name James Holmes the Aurora (Colorado) Theater shooter was convicted of 24 counts of Firs Degree murder. That's 2 counts for each of the 12 innocent people he murdered.

In my mind, why 24? Like that is somehow going to make a difference? This useless excuse for a human being walked into a movie theater full of people he had never met and opened fire. As a means to what end? No one but he will ever know, but my guess is that it's something as simple as just wanting to watch someone die; knowing he was the one who did it.

Even if he were to actually say the real reason, I can't say that I would believe him. Why? Because it just doesn't matter why. It just matters that it happened. And now that it's happened, society has to deal with it. As usual, society has got it all wrong.

We are coming up on the 3rd anniversary of the shooting and this is as far as we've gotten? A conviction? Not only has it taken too long to get this far, I'm sure we've spent far too much money to get this far. I would assume it's cost the tax payers in excess of a million dollars.

This is unacceptable. This piece of human trash should have been put on the fast lane to justice. As far as I'm concerned, it's a shame that the right person wasn't at the scene of those murders to put a bullet in his head.

Does that sound a little extreme to you? I get it; you can't let someone be the judge, jury and executioner. But let me remind you this guy was clearly identifiable as the person that was doing the shooting. He was dressed in what I would describe as "SWAT Gear". Helmet, vest, ammo and weapons all visible on his person. It couldn't have been too difficult to connect the shooting to him.

Even if he missed every one of the people, I still say it would have been OK to put a bullet in his head. After all, in my hypothetical, he tried to kill people. In this instance that would have been good enough for me.

Why? Let me remind you, he planned what he did. He had to go out and get all the gear, equipment, guns and ammo he used. It wasn't a rash decision on his part. It wasn't like he went down to the gun store and bought all that at 3:00 P.M., took off the tags and sauntered down to the theater because his girlfriend had just broken up with him. He went down there for revenge, and somehow, these people accidently got into the line of fire. He knew NONE of these people. He's never met any of them before. They were at that theater to watch a movie. He went there to murder people.

Not that it wasn't obvious enough, he even admitted it. His defense "I did it but I didn't know what I was doing, I'm mentally ill". Just take a minute to absorb that. He was well enough to plan out the whole thing, get everything he needed, wait for what he felt was the proper time and then execute his plan. Mentally ill? Color me suspicious. Some would argue that anyone capable of doing such a heinous act would have to be mentally ill. No normal person would do something like that. I would not be one of those people. I think he knew exactly what he was doing.

What I actually wanted to get to is this ... 24 counts of First Degree murder, 140 counts of attempted murder, a few miscellaneous crimes, and it took almost 3 years to get this far. Then there will be months of hearings to determine his punishment. Then after the punishment, (regardless of what it is) there will be years of appeals.

That does not sound like justice to me. It's an insult to the memories of everyone that was murdered and their families. Let us not forget all the people that he tried to murder that survived. Their lives will never been the same. Some will never fully recover. As much as I hate to say it, I'm sure some of them wished they wouldn't have made it.

All of this pain created by one individual. A selfish, narcissistic, evil human.

Let's start with the charges, 24 counts of First Degree murder. That was 2 counts for each person he murdered and 2 counts for each person he almost murdered. What's the point? He didn't kill them twice. How does loading up the charges make a difference here? Is it to make the point that this was a "terrible crime"?

It's my belief that First Degree murder  is the wrong charge for something like this. We need something new. What we need is a charge called "Mass Murder". I don't know how many people a person would need to murder during one event to be charged with "Mass Murder" but I think we could all agree that 12 would be enough.

Once someone is charged with "Mass Murder", they should get the fast lane to justice. A trial no later than 60 days after they're charged. No continuances, no appeals and no "sentencing phase". There is only one sentence, death. The sentence should be carried out within a week. I wouldn't wait that long, but sometimes they may need time to prepare.

Why? Because there is no justification for murdering 12 people during an event. Anyone that would do something like that is broken. It doesn't matter what caused them to do it; there is no rehabilitation, they are broken. Putting them in prison serves no purpose other than to make us as a society feel like we're compassionate. That we are not savages.

We're not savages because sometimes nature makes mistakes. When that happens, the mistake has to be taken care of. I would submit to you that anyone that murders 12 people, no matter the reason, is a mistake of nature. It doesn't matter to me if they are evil, stupid or mentally ill.

That was James Holmes defense. That he was mentally ill. His parents have publicly pleaded for their son's life. While I am empathetic to their situation; keeping him alive will not serve any purpose. He cannot ever walk among us again; he cannot be trusted. Housing him the remainder of his life is an expense better spent on other things.

As callous as this may sound ... James Holmes and individuals like him are no different than any other diseased animal. If you have a dog that is dangerous, you put it down. It puts the dog out of it's misery (even if it doesn't know) and it's the safest thing to do.

It may not be the easiest thing for society to do, but the right thing never is ...